Krampus!

Dec. 14th, 2009 10:34 pm
wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

The Holidailies prompt for today challenges us to make up our own iconic character to symbolize Christmas. I thought about it briefly, considered instituting a mythical hippopotamus as the Christmas symbol, and then remembered Krampus.

According to Wikipedia, Krampus (otherwise known as “Krotchus” in America – I can’t make this stuff up!) is apparently a demon-like monster with claws who acts as an assistant to Saint Nick. While Santa makes his rounds, visiting the good children, Krampus finds the bad ones and punishes them. Young men traditionally dress up as Krampus in early December and terrorize women and children with rusty chains and bells. In some myths, Krampus actually carries naughty children away and dumps them in the pits of hell. How this is a Christmas story, I’m not quite sure, but there you have it. A letter opener.

…Oh, those wily Germans. ;) The Christmas pickle, Krampus…what will they think up next! (For what it’s worth, about a quarter of my heritage is German, so my ancestors undoubtedly partook in the Krampus myth.)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

This was a productive weekend in a lot of ways. First of all, I wrapped all the gifts currently in my possession:

Wrapping, Part One

And created a new gift that needs to be wrapped:

Modified Amanda Hat

It’s getting there. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

Tradition

Dec. 12th, 2009 10:00 am
wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I was kind of a slacker the last couple of days with my Holidailies posts, but we are allowed to miss a few days, and I had a good reason. Katie is home! She lives in Washington state, so I only see her once a year. This year (fortunately for me, not so much for her, since her visit home this week was not for a pleasant reason), I get to see her twice! She’s home this week and will be back again on the 23rd for more debauchery. And debauchery there was last night. I only ever really drink – as in, drink more than one alcoholic beverage in a row – when Katie’s home. She bought beer for herself and her friend Rance, and since I don’t like beer…well. She bought me bottled mojitos! Mojitos are my drink of choice, and these were really good; a little rum with a spearmint gum chaser. Mmm.

It was a good night. We watched Moonwalker because Rance and I love it and Katie had never seen it, and I powered through three mojitos in roughly two hours. By the end, it was kind of drunken Moonwalker, at least for me. Rance and I spent the entire movie yelling things like, “Michael Jackson is THE SHIT,” while Katie spent the movie yelling that plus, “Who WROTE this?!” and Rance and I would laugh hysterically. I demonstrated my ability to go up on my toes like Mike, which was fortunately before the mojitos started, and we decided that, “The whole world should take drugs because of me!” is the best line in the history of ever. When Rance started referring to them as “droogs,” that was it. I was done.

Last night was the first time I was the only tipsy person in the room, the first time I attempted to knit while intoxicated, and the first time I had to be driven home in my 25 years of existence. It was a good night.

Today I’m back in the Holidailies swing, and the prompt is one I’d like to answer. :)

Tell us about an odd-but-beloved holiday tradition you or your family celebrate.

Our tradition really isn’t that odd if you’re German, I think, but we didn’t start it because of our German heritage. Every year, my mom hangs the Christmas pickle on the tree, and us kids (who would be me, my brother, and Scott, even though we’re all over the age of 21 and look a little silly) race to find the pickle first. Whoever wins gets an extra present! I’ve won every year for the last four or five years. I’m excellent at The Christmas Pickle game, even though I’m short and have a marked disadvantage. We started doing the Christmas pickle about eight years ago. My ex-boyfriend’s mom did it at her annual Christmas open house, and I loved it so much I told my mom. She didn’t believe me, googled it, and found a pickle ornament of our own. Voila! A tradition was born.

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

Christmas wrapping is going to kick my ass this year. A couple of things had started to trickle in through the mail over the last couple of days, and today I came home to a rather large amazon.com box in my room with even more presents. There are a few more that are still due to come in, but the bulk of it is in. Every day for the last week, I’ve come home from work, looked at the ever-increasingly pile, and said to myself, “Gee, I should start wrapping this” and then…don’t.

Usually Christmas wrapping goes as follows:

  • December 1 – 7: “I don’t need to wrap yet. I don’t have anywhere to put these presents anyway.”
  • December 7-14: “I should probably wrap at least a couple of these, huh? Maybe later.”
  • December 15-21: “These really need to get wrapped. It’s getting close to Christmas.”
  • December 21-23: “OH CRAP IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS AND NOTHING IS WRAPPED.”
  • December 24: “MUST. WRAP. FASTER.”

That last bullet? This is totally where I was last year. My dad and my brother always ask me to wrap the presents they’ve bought as well, because apparently they are helpless when it comes to anything that needs to look nice, so I wrap 2/3 of the gifts for my house. It’s crazy. Last year I was up until 2 AM Christmas morning wrapping, partly because of the sheer number of gifts and partly because of my own procrastination.

Let the games begin!

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I went out tonight with a couple of the girls from work to get drinks (OHAI, Bahamarita, your mango-y citrus-y deliciousness) and poke around the mall for a bit. I’m more or less done my shopping, except for a few odds and ends here and there. One of those odds and ends was a “Chinese Auction” gift for the work Christmas party. We had a $25.00 limit, so I was just looking for something that might be appealing but was still cheapish. My friends and I wound up in the Kitchen Kapers store because I had wandered in looking for Rachel Ray utensils for my mom. They didn’t have any, but I saw on the sale table this goofy looking thing… it turned out to be shot glasses on a magnetic tray, so they wouldn’t spill. It was on sale for $25. The girls were like, “Buy it, buy it!” because it was quick and easy and universal enough for the company party. And that’s when it dawned on me…

…If I’m out buying the first bullshit gift I see, isn’t everyone else that’s going to that party doing the same thing? And if everyone’s doing the same thing, aren’t I going to wind up with some cracked out gift that someone saw on sale at the “gourmet” store in the mall and thought, “Gee, I can get this for the office party and cross another item off my list!”? And if that’s how we’re buying gifts…what’s the point? Why do we all need to spend $25 we don’t have on some cursory gift that no one wants or needs? Why can’t the company party be more talking and laughing and eating and enjoying everyone’s company? What, no one wants to be there and be forced to socialize with each other, so let’s do a BS Pollyanna and call it a holiday party?

Suddenly I want to go to this party a whole lot less.

/thinly disguised work rant

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

For our Letters to Santa for Macy’s Believe, I asked my students to write a letter with a Christmas wish for themselves and at least one Christmas wish for others. The “others” could be their family, their friends, or the world at large. A lot of my kids are really giving on the natch – last year, we had a book drive, and one of my kids spent $25 at the book fair and donated all the books he bought that day to the book drive. Most of my kids made really nice wishes for others, and I wanted to share some of them. :) Just for information’s sake, my kids are all 11 to 13, overwhelmingly male (I have one girl this year), and have either autism, Asperger’s Disorder, or are PDD-NOS.

——————————————————————————————————–

“…And I wish my mom would win the lottery because she doesn’t have a lot of money right now, and she deserves it.”

“…I wish for a video game for my friend. He loves video games and he can’t afford this one.”

“…I wish for my family to be happy. Also, I wish my extended family liked us more. My mom misses them.”

“…I wish all the sick kids had toys for Christmas because everyone should be happy at Christmas.”

And my personal favorite:

“…And I wish for happiness and Skittles for everyone!”

(This one ended with, “P.S. – I also wish I could meet the elves. They could come to my house. I like elves.”)

——————————————————————————————————–

For as crazy as they make me sometimes, I have some good kids. These are the days when I’m proud to be a teacher. The world needs people like my kids. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

Happy holiday season, everyone! I love the holidays. They make me unnaturally happy. I feel like a better person at Christmas, and I kind of want to be a better person at Christmas. In that vein, I’m actually starting with the man (woman?) in the mirror this holiday. I’m having my students write Letters to Santa for the Macy’s Believe campaign, and we’re starting a Giving Tree bulletin board to track the good things we’re doing this holiday season. I’m also planning to knit at least one more Snuggle and hopefully some mittens for my LYS’s Giving Tree. I think that will be in my New Year’s goals this year – giving back. This year has been a better year for me. I want to make next year better for someone else.

Last year, I posted an entry on my anniversary about how 2009 would be OUR year. My anniversary was yesterday. Scott and I have officially been together for five years. That’s 60 months, or 1461 days (there was a leap year in there), or roughly 2,628,000 minutes for those that are counting. In other words, that’s a long time! Our relationship could go to kindergarten. It’s pretty crazy.

Roses!

What’s also pretty crazy is that, in a lot of ways, 2009 was really our year. Not in all the ways we imagined it, of course – I still don’t have a new job, for example, and Scott hasn’t sold a TV series. But I did apply for grad school, and Scott did get a steady new job in communications/film – he’s a content/outreach producer for a network run by Madison Square Garden. I did quit my part-time job, even though I didn’t get a raise or a flashy new salary to replace it. And we are getting engaged, probably in 2010. My ring is on hold at Helzberg, but Scott’s keeping a pretty tight lid on the details of when I’m going to get it. :)

Even though I’m not where I want to be in my life just yet, for the first time, I feel like I’m making real steps towards getting there. Submitting my grad apps, going to the gym, picking out my engagement ring, booking the trip to Disney…they seem like small things, but they’re all adding up to something big. I’m hoping by this time next year, I’ll be happily situated in a graduate program and planning my wedding. I feel like Scott and I are finally getting a handle on this whole crazy ride that we’re on, and sooner or later, it’s gonna be legen…wait for it…DARY.

Happy December, everyone. :)

Merry Christmas!

Mirrored from winged orange.

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